Dr Who by Bill Mevin
Dr Who (TV Comic, 19 February 1966)

Bill Mevin is a British comics artist and animator. His career spans over half a century in which he mostly created comics based on popular pre-existing cartoon shows and TV series for TV Comic and Pippin. He was most notably one of the early 'Dr. Who' comics artists, and additionally worked on newspaper strips like 'Soapremes' and 'The Perishers' (1992-2006) for the Daily Mail.

Wee Sporty by Bill Mevin

William H. Mevin was born in 1929 and attended the Liverpool School of Art, before making a career in illustration. In the late 1940s he worked as an animator for the British department of Gaumont. This studio was established by David Hand, but in 1949 their animation department had to close down. Mevin's skills didn't go unused though. He joined Joy Batchelor and John Halas' animation company, where he, Harold Whitaker and Reginald Parlett were three of several people to work on the first British animated feature film 'Animal Farm' (1955), based on George Orwell's eponymous political-satirical novel. The picture was notable for being the first feature-length animated film for the general public, made on British soil. It also aimed at an adult audience, rather than children. The plot was generally faithful to the spirit of the book, except for the ending which was changed to end on a more hopeful note. Unbeknownst to most of the animators, the project was financed by the CIA, who liked its criticism of Stalinism. The British animation crew learned a lot from animation director John Reed, who had worked for Disney.

Popeye by Bill Mevin
Popeye

Later that decade Mevin became a political cartoonist for the Sunday Chronicle, and he also began his career as a comic book artist. His comic gag strip 'Wee Sporty' ran in Express Weekly and its successor TV Express Weekly from 1956 onwards. From the late 1950s he was additionally present in TV Comic, which was published by Beaverbrook and then by Polystyle Publications.

Supercar (TV Comic, 15 December 1962)
Supercar (TV Comic, 15 December 1962)

He drew comics based on popular cartoon characters, such as Tex Avery's 'Bugs Bunny' and 'Droopy', as well as E.C. Segar's 'Popeye', which had previously been drawn for TV Comic by Chick Henderson and Neville Main. Mevin also drew strips with ventriloquist Terry Hall's 'Lenny the Lion' character (1958) and 'World Cup Willie' (1966), the mascot of the 1966 FIFA World, held in England. For the magazine's color centerspread, Mevin drew the comics serial adaptations of science fiction TV series like 'Supercar' (1961-1964, succeeding H. Watts), 'Space Patrol' (1964-1965) and, most notably, 'Dr. Who' (1965-1966). Mevin was the second comics artist to bring 'Dr. Who' to life on paper. Neville Main preceeded him in 1964, and John Canning was his successor in 1966. Writers involved were Roger Noel Cook and Alan Fennell. In the 1970s and 1980s Mevin also worked for Polystyle's children's comic Pippin, which featured characters from British pre-school TV shows. Mevin's worked on such features as 'The Pogles', 'Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men', 'The Herbs' and 'Morph'. He was additionally present in Fleetway's Whizzer and Chips with 'Happy Families'.

Bill and Ben (Pippin, 20 December 1971)

Bill and Ben (Pippin, 20 December 1971)
Bill and Ben (Pippin, 20 December 1971)

By the late 1980s he returned to newspapers, this time the Daily Mail. He first drew the daily comic strip 'The Soapremes', which was a parody of American soap operas like 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty'. In November 1992 he succeeded Dennis Collins as the artist of Maurice Dodd's 'The Perishers', a strip about a gang of street kids and an Old English Sheepdog. Following Dodd's scripts, Mevin continued 'The Perishers' until his taskmaster passed away in December 2005.

Lenny the Lion by Bill Mevin
The Perishers

Series and books by Bill Mevin in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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